Always been quite fond of The Verve, but I find myself these past couple of weeks listening to them at an almost fanatical rate. I've been a dedicated listener of the four albums for years now, but never really explored much beyond that. Now I find myself glued to the likes of b-sides/outtakes album No Come Down, the self-titled EP and the myriad of b-sides and unreleased stuff that came out around Forth. This is truly a band that gets better with age.
Just some random thoughts...
- Early Verve is the apex of the band's catalogue. Not because of any notable dip in the quality of the songs so much, but because the more dreamy, spacey sounds of A Storm in Heaven and the Verve EP suited them better and played more to their strengths.
- Thus, A Northern Soul is a classic that's less of a classic than ASiH. 'History' and 'Stormy Clouds' are still duking it out for the coveted 'Best Song' title.
- The music video for Gravity Grave is sublime. It's your stock trippy road trip vid, but it's imagery and mood are perfectly in sync with the song. Those grainy black and white shots... hnnng.
- Ashcroft declared 'A Man Called Sun' the greastest b-side ever released. He's not far off.
- Urban Hymns gets a fair bit of backlash these days right? It's good stuff, it's just a bit too bloated and self-important for its own good. Needs trimming by about 10-15 minutes.
- Forth gets a lot of unwarranted hate. I find it wholly underrated, with 'Judas', 'Love is Noise' and 'Sit & Wonder' ranking among their very best.
- There's this unreleased song called 'Blue Pacific Ocean'. I think it was supposed to feature as a b-side to Valium Skies, but that single never materialised because the band was too busy splitting up for the 15th time. The song leaked on the net anyway, and I'm amazed it wasn't considered good enough for Forth, seeing as how its quality far exceeds most tracks on it. Do yourself a favour and listen to it if you haven't already - beautiful stuff...